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Blast from the past: Ireland 2003

We know a lot about Eurovision; this is knowledge we want to share with you. Therefore we’d like to bring you a blast from the past. Back to 2003, we will talk about the Irish entry, “We’ve got the world”, sung by Mickey Harte.  You’re a star In the days when Pop Idol was one of the most popular shows in the world, with national versions in every country, it was Ireland that decided not to have a regular national final. The Irish entry was chosen by a Pop Idol-like show called “You’re a star”. It all started with 13 artists: Azi Jegbefume, Brian Ormond, Catherine Yore, Catriona McGinty, Joanne Fahy, Lisa Bresnan, Michael Leonard, Mickey Harte, Sarah Brophy, Shauna & Coaoimhe McElhinney, Simon Casey, Susan McFadden and Susan McGowan. One by one, they got rejected every week.  On february 24, four artists left presented a potential Eurovision song: 1.”I couldn’t love you more“, Michael Leonard (co-composed by Ronan Keating)2.”I’ll still be right here“, Lisa Bresnan3.”We’ve got the world“, Mickey Harte4.”A better plan“, Simon Casey (written and composed by Brian McFadden) Lisa Bresnan had to leave the show. On March 2nd, there was a semifinal. Now it was Michael Leonard who had to leave. The Irish audience now had to choose between Mickey Harte and Simon Casey. On March 8th it was Mickey who got the ticket to the Eurovision Song Contest in Riga. Mickey Harte Mickey Joe Harte was born on August 21, 1973 in Lifford, County Donegal. He started playing the guitar at the age of 13. When he was 18 years old, he wrote his first song, “Candlelight”, inspired by the first Gulf War. However, as a singer/songwriter in the 90s it was hard to get a real breakthrough in Ireland, at that moment the country of the boybands. The success finally came when he participated in the 2002/2003 season of “You’re a star”. As the winner of this contest, he got the ticket to the Eurovision Song Contest. The song, “We’ve got the world”, reached the number one spot in the Irish charts. An album followed. In 2006, Mickey released his 2nd album “Live and learn”. A year later, he could be seen in a reality television show called “Celebrities go wild”. It took a few years before Mickey’s third album “Forward to reality” was released. In 2017, we saw the release of the single “For the broken hearted”. We’ve got the world The song “We’ve got the world” was a love song. “We’ve got the world tonight, let’s hold on together. And we’ve got a love that’s right so open your heart ’cause we’ve got tonight”, Mickey sang. The song was not written by Mickey himself but by Martin Brannigan and Keith Molloy. You can read the full lyrics here. On stage in Riga, Mickey was joined by 3 backing singers, all participants from “You’re a star”: Sara Brophy, Susan McGowan and Catriona McGuinty. Results This was the last year without semifinals. So Mickey was placed directly in the final. The United Kingdom awarded the song with 12 points, both Portugal and Cyprus gave it their 7 points. With a total number of 53 points Mickey became 11th. That was enough for Ireland to be placed directly in the 2004 final.  

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Road to Rotterdam: Ireland

Irish Lesley Roy had 2 hits in the United States in 2008. After that she was mainly busy writing songs for others. She did release a few singles herself, but they were not a success. In 2020 it all changed: Lesley Roy was internally selected for the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “The story of my life”. It took a while, but in the end Irish broadcaster RTÉ chose her again to go to the contest in 2021. She will sing the song “Maps” in Rotterdam. 

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Lesley Roy

© EBU/Andres Putting About Quick Facts NameLesley Roy Born17 september 1986 Nationality🇮🇪 Irish National SelectionInternal Selection In Eurovision2021 Rotterdam2020 Rotterdam (Cancelled) SongMaps (2021)Story of my life (2020) Biography Lesley Roy is an Irish singer, born in Balbriggan, Dublin. She first signed a record deal in 2006, which resulted in an album “Unbeautiful” in 2008. The first single “I’m gone, i’m going” became an international hit with chart successes in the UK, the USA, Germany and Norway. The follow up single “Unbeautiful” became an international success as well. Both songs were part of the American Reality TV Series The Hills. Another song on the album, “Slow goodbyes”, was co-written by Katy Perry. After her first album, Lesley started to write songs for others. She wrote songs for Adam Lambert, Ashlyne Huff, Jana Kramer, Marlee Scott, the Dutch singer Miss Montreal and the Danish singer Medina.In 2016, Lesley Roy released a couple of singles, but unfortunately they didn’t reach the charts. In 2020 she was chosen to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Story of my life”. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen, due to the cancellation of the contest. She was invited again to represent Ireland in 2021, which she did with the song “Maps”. The follow up for “Maps” was the song “I’ll be fine”. Also in 2021, she also opened for Boyzlife on their tour. Entries Maps Country🇮🇪 Ireland Year2021 LanguageEnglish Lyrics & MusicLesley RoyLukas HällgrenPhilip StrandNormandieDeependEmelie Eriksson BackingsEmelie ErikssonPhilip Strand BackingsMalin VängeliinIngrid Vagle Results Semi Points: 20Position: 16Running order: 7 Results Finals Points: –Position: –Running order: – https://youtu.be/FY2rxbZNvZ0 Story of my life Country🇮🇪 Ireland Year2020 LanguageEnglish LyricsLesley RoyRobert MarvinCatt Gravitt ComposersLesley RoyRobert MarvinCatt GravittTom Shapiro Backings– Results Semi Points: –Position: –Running order: – Results Finals Points: –Position: –Running order: – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLgE0Ayl5Hc

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Niamh Kavanagh

About Quick Facts NameNiamh Kavanagh Born13 February 1968 Nationality🇮🇪 Irish National SelectionEurosong 2010The Irish National Song Contest 1993 In Eurovision2010 Oslo1993 Millstreet SongIt’s For You (2010)In Your Eyes (1993) Biography  Niamh Kavanagh, born on 13 February 1968, is an acclaimed Irish vocalist celebrated for her victory at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1993 with her rendition of “In Your Eyes.” This achievement secured Ireland’s consecutive win in the prestigious competition. The event took place in Millstreet, County Cork, within the Republic of Ireland, marking a notable moment in Eurovision history. Born in Glasnevin, Dublin, to a musically inclined family, Kavanagh was exposed to a diverse range of musical influences from an early age, including Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, and Blood, Sweat and Tears, alongside Bonnie Raitt. Her early life was enriched with music, often performing at family gatherings. Her career also included notable contributions to the film soundtrack of “The Commitments,” where she lent her voice both as a lead and backing vocalist, featuring in tracks like “Destination Anywhere” and “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man.” Despite this experience, her subsequent Eurovision fame brought an unexpected surge in recognition. In the Eurovision Song Contest of 1993, a 25-year-old Kavanagh represented Ireland with “In Your Eyes,” securing her place in the competition through a commanding win in the national contest. Her performance in Millstreet was a close battle for points, ultimately winning with a record-breaking score at the time. The song became a significant hit, achieving double-platinum status and earning her widespread recognition, including a successful album recorded in Nashville, Tennessee. Following her musical career, Kavanagh chose to spend more time with her family. Returning to the Eurovision scene in 2010 for Ireland with “It’s for You,” she performed alongside family members, confirming her participation through a national selection on The Late Late Show. Her journey in the contest was well-supported, making it the first time in four years that Ireland reached the final, where she finished 23rd. Beyond Eurovision, Kavanagh’s appearances have included performing at notable events and on television shows, serving as the Irish spokesperson at the Eurovision contests in 2008 and 2023, participating as a guest performer in the Romanian National Final for Eurovision 2011, and contributing as a judge and in music videos related to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Entries It’s For You Country🇮🇪 Ireland Year2010 LanguageEnglish LyricsLina Eriksson MusicNiall MooneyMårten ErikssonJonas Gladnikoff BackingsNichala KavanaghEdward O’LearyKarl PowerNiamh Kavanagh Results Semi Points: 67Position: 9Running order: 12 Results Finals Points: 25Position: 23Running order: 10 https://youtu.be/6SHg8gS-02Q?si=gftKgNMMLB4YgKso In Your Eyes Country🇮🇪 Ireland Year1993 LanguageEnglish LyricsJimmy Walsh MusicJimmy Walsh BackingsPatricia O’NeillGarrett WallMartina Tobin Results Points: 187Position: 1Running order: 14 https://youtu.be/C-Vamz7UAfQ?si=6YAXBMvQurdQ1oS4

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Nicky Byrne

© EBU/Thomas Hanses About Quick Facts NameNicholas Byrne jr. Born09 October 1978 Nationality🇮🇪 Irish National SelectionInternal selection 2016 In Eurovision2016 Stockholm SongSunlight (2016) Biography Nicky Byrne is an Irish singer, songwriter, radio- and television presenter. He was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1978. Byrne began his football career playing for Home Farm and St. Kevins Boys in North Dublin. He turned professional and joined Leeds United as a goalkeeper in 1995, playing for their FA Youth Cup winning team in 1997. After two years at Leeds, he played for Scarborough in a reserve game and had a trial game with Cambridge United before returning to Dublin to join Shelbourne. He later played for Cobh Ramblers and St. Francis F.C. in Ireland’s League of Ireland. On May 14, 2009, Byrne was a substitute for a Liverpool Legends XI team in a Hillsborough Memorial match. He represented the Republic of Ireland at various youth levels and is a fan of Celtic FC. In 2011, he played in a Celtic Legends XI match against a Manchester United Legends team. Byrne also participated in and won Soccer Aid 2014, scoring a goal in the match. In terms of music, Byrne joined the Irish boyband Westlife in 1998 along with Kian Egan, Mark Feehily, Shane Filan, and Brian McFadden. With Westlife, he achieved numerous chart successes and sold over 55 million records worldwide. He also co-wrote many of the band’s songs. In 2016, he represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Sunlight.” Westlife reunited in 2018 and embarked on a tour in 2019 to celebrate their 20th anniversary. They also released new music, including the single “Hello My Love” from their album “Spectrum.” On television, Byrne has hosted and appeared on various shows. He hosted an edition of CD:UK in 2003 and the closing ceremony of the Special Olympics in 2003. He has made multiple appearances on Children in Need and Comic Relief. Byrne narrated stage shows and hosted the Cheerios ChildLine Concert multiple times. He presented the Celebrity Sunday radio program on RTÉ 2fm in 2010 and hosted the reality TV show Football’s Next Star in 2012. Byrne co-hosted the TV talent show The Hit. He also hosted radio shows and a National Lottery game show. Since 2017, he has been hosting the Irish version of “Dancing with the Stars.” In 2020, he hosted RTÉ Does Comic Relief, and in 2021, he was announced as the host of the singing competition Last Singer Standing. Entries Sunlight Country🇮🇪 Ireland Year2016 LanguageEnglish LyricsNicky ByrneWayne HectorRonan Hardiman MusicNicky ByrneWayne HectorRonan Hardiman BackingsJanet GroganJennifer HealingJay BolandIan WhitePaul Kenny Results Semi Points: 46Position: 15Running order: 7 Results Finals Points: –Position: –Running order: – https://youtu.be/ezJsUMD-y-I

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Ryan Dolan

© Albin Olsson About Quick Facts NameRyan Dolan Born22 July 1985 Nationality🇮🇪 Irish National SelectionEurosong 2013 In Eurovision2013 Malmö SongOnly Love Survives (2013) Biography Ryan Dolan (born 22 July 1985) is an Irish pop singer. He was born in Strabane in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.  Dolan’s track “Only Love Survives” clinched the top spot in Ireland’s Eurosong 2013. This victory set him on the path to represent Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Malmö, Sweden. Dolan showcased his song during the semi-final at the Malmö Arena on 14 May 2013, securing his spot in the final with a top-ten finish. However, in the climactic final on 18 May 2013, he secured the last spot, with support from only three countries totaling five points. Dolan launched his first album, “Frequency”, on 13 May 2013. His second single, “Start Again”, was released on 7 March 2014, following his public revelation about his sexuality on RTÉ Radio 1. The music video, illustrating a tragic story of a gay teenager’s suicide, garnered over a million views on YouTube. Dolan became a prominent figure within LGBT circles and performed at several pride events, such as Pride in Newry 2014 and Bristol Pride 2015. His third single, “Fall to the Floor”, released on 20 June 2014, achieved a moderate position on the Irish Recorded Music Association chart, ranking 88th. In a heartfelt interview on RTÉ Radio 1 in February 2014, Dolan opened up about his sexuality, revealing he’s gay. He reflected on his school years, describing his struggle with self-acceptance and the challenge of finding someone to confide in. In June of the same year, he released the song “Fall to the Floor” about this subject. On 20 November 2015, he unveiled his fourth single, “Uptown Downtown”.  His collection of covers culminated in the album “Under the Covers, Vol.1”, which was released on 19 February 2016. The album reached the no. 1 spot in the Irish album charts a year later. In October 2020, Ryan Dolan released a new song and video, “Colours”.   Entries Only Love Survives Country🇮🇪 Ireland Year2013 LanguageEnglish LyricsWez DevineRyan Dolan MusicWez DevineRyan Dolan BackingsLeanne MooreAlison Vard MillerColm Farrel (drums)Alan McGrath (drums)Nicky Bailey (drums) Results Semi Points: 54Position: 8Running order: 13 Results Finals Points: 5Position: 26Running order: 26 https://youtu.be/4tgtyl_5x5Y?si=9y3PsOd0kmA2tlhU

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Brendan Murray

© EBU/Thomas Hanses About Quick Facts NameBrendan John Francis Murray Born16 November 1996 Nationality🇮🇪 Irish National SelectionEurosong 2022Internal selection 2017 In Eurovision2017 Kyiv SongDying to try Biography Brendan Murray is an Irish singer. He was born in 1996 in Tuam, County Galway.When he was 18 years old, in 2014, Brendan became a member of the band Home Town. Their debut single “Where I belong” reached the first place in the Irish charts. The follow up “Cry for help” did the same in 2015. In the same year, “The night we met” also reached the charts, but their single “Roses” in 2016 did not. The band announced to take a break to concentrate on other projects. One of the projects was Brendan Murray’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, with the song “Dying to try”. Unfortunately, Brendan didn’t manage to reach the final. In June 2018, the follow up of his Eurovision song, “Way too fast” was released. Later in 2018, Brendan took part in the X-Factor UK. He managed to reach the semifinals there. It resulted in a tour he could do through Ireland and the United Kingdom in June 2019. But before that, in April, he released a new single, “If I’m honest”. In 2019 and 2020, Brendan uploaded videos of several cover songs, a.o. “Nothing compares 2U” and “You are the reason”. On 21 February, 2020, Brendan released a new original song, “Teardrops”. Another cover, “Falling”, became the new single in May 2020. On 24 July of the same year, a new single called “Let go” came out, followed in September by “500 days”. A Christmas song, “Wishing you here for Christmas”, came out too. Brendan traveled to the Maldives to perform there at and around New Years Eve at a special Moonlight Concert. In March 2021 a new single called “Here To Stay” was released, followed in June by “Deep Fake” and in October by “Little Island”. In February 2022, Brendan Murray took part in Eurosong 2022, the national final for the Eurovision Song Contest. He sang the song “Real love”. The song didn’t win but was released on single right after the contest.   Entries Dying To Try Country🇮🇪 Ireland Year2023 LanguageEnglish LyricsJames NewmanJörgen Elofsson MusicJames NewmanJörgen Elofsson BackingsAlison Vard MillerMargot DalyShane McDaidJules EdwardGraham Kelly Results Semi Points: 86Position: 13Running order: 9 Results Finals Points: –Position: –Running order: – https://youtu.be/EOpZikqrfOA

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Ryan O’Shaughnessy

© EBU/Andres Putting About Quick Facts NameRyan O’Shaughnessy Born27 September 1992 Nationality???????? Irish National SelectionInternal selection 2018 In Eurovision2018 Lisbon SongTogether (2018) Biography Ryan O’Shaughnessy is an Irish singer, songwriter and actor. He was born in Loughshinny, county Dublin. Between 2001 and 2010, he played one of the main roles in the very popular tv-series Fair city. In 2012, Ryan participated in The Voice of Ireland. Meanwhile, he also participated in Brittain’s Got Talent. In fact, he was disqualified there: due to his participation in The Voice, he had a contract with Universal Music. When he was released from this contract, he returned to Brittain’s Got Talent, reached the final and became 5th. His debut single “No name” was released right after this. In 2013 O’Shaughnessy took part in a songwriting competition, The Hit, where he also reached the final. In 2016, his debut album “Back to square one” was released on Ryan’s own label Bayview. In 2018, Ryan O’Shaughnessy was chosen to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest. He sang the song “Together”, which became a hit in Ireland. He reached the final in Eurovision. The follow up of “Together” was the song “Civil war”. In 2020, Ryan released no less than 5 singles. In 2022 he performed at the Eurovision related event J’aime la Vlie. Entries Together Country???????? Ireland Year2018 LanguageEnglish LyricsRyan O’ShaughnessyMark CapliceLaura Elizabeth Hughe MusicRyan O’ShaughnessyMark CapliceLaura Elizabeth Hughe BackingsJanet GroganRemy NaidooClaire-Ann VarleyKevin O’DwyerAlan McGrath Results Semi Points: 179Position: 6Running order: 18 Results Finals Points: 136Position: 16Running order: 24 https://youtu.be/QD1cQ2wZ1dk

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Molly Sterling

© EBU/Andres Putting About Quick Facts NameMolly Jane Sterling Born08 March 1998 Nationality🇮🇪 Irish National SelectionEurosong 2015 In Eurovision2015 Vienna SongPlaying With Numbers (2015) Biography Molly Jane Sterling is an Irish singer and songwriter. Her upbringing took place in Puckane, County Tipperary. She received her education at Kilkenny College and later attended St. Andrew’s College in Dublin. In terms of her career, Sterling gained initial recognition by winning the Teen Idol contest in November 2011, which earned her a recording prize from Popstar Studios. She also achieved a second-place award for Girl’s Vocal Solo at the 2012 Kilkenny Music Festival. Furthermore, she supported Runaway GO during a performance at Nenagh Arts Centre on June 9, 2012. In May 2014, Sterling finished as the runner-up in TV3’s All Ireland Schools’ Talent Search. Later that year, she released her debut EP, titled “Strands of Heart,” in November 2014. Moving on to her involvement in the Eurovision Song Contest, on February 27, 2015, Sterling was chosen to represent Ireland in the 2015 edition of the competition with her song “Playing with Numbers.” Despite her participation in the second semi-final, she did not qualify for the final round.  In January 2016 Molly released a new single, “Hands off”. In July of the same year she did a summer tour on Majorca. On 25 October of the same year, her solo single and video “Plain static” came out. It was on 1 August 2018 that the follow up, “Stripped down”, was released. On 22 March 2019 Molly Sterling gave a solo concert in a sold out Whelan’s in Dublin, a month after her new video “Feeble” was released. In 2020, during the COVID19 lockdowns, Molly came out as having a mental illness. She confesses she already suffered from it when she was at the Eurovision Song Contest. She also came out having been abused by someone in the music industry. Molly Sterling started the Reclaim Project in 2022, a community space for gender minorities and women who are challenging power abuse in the arts through creative collaboration. Entries Playing With Numbers Country🇮🇪 Ireland Year2015 LanguageEnglish LyricsGreg FrenchMolly Sterling MusicGreg FrenchMolly Sterling Backings Jimmy RainsfordDarren SweeneyNaomi ClarkePóilín LyncJessica Supple   Results Semi Points: 35Position: 12Running order: 2 Results Finals Points: –Position: –Running order: – https://youtu.be/3B5sdNJF0lk

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